We interviewed Larry Beyah, a rising standup comedian, social media influencer, and entrepreneur to find out about his background, how to be funnier, and how being funny can help you at work and in your personal life.
Larry has been a successful writer for popular TV shows. He has performed in over 400 comedy venues, colleges, churches and theatres in New York City, London, Los Angeles, Australia, South Africa, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Cleveland, Atlanta and many more cities. His skits are found on Tik Tok, YouTube, Twitter and Instagram. He has been pronounced "The greatest comic in the history of comedy" (find out who said that later in this article).
How did you become a standup comedian?
I started out entertaining my family and friends at home. Then I always made my friends laugh on the playgrounds, backyards, lunchrooms and classrooms. I always held court. They always loved my jokes, skits, and voices about observations of the people in our neighborhood. In the classroom, however, I was distracting the teachers who would be teaching science, math, etc. Eventually, I became the topic of discussion of many of the teachers and they created a solution—if I would be quiet for the first three-quarters of the class, then the last 10 minutes of the class they would let me do my act. My first comedy tours were in elementary school. Then my high school English teacher started putting me in our Shakespeare plays. My first role was Mark Anthony in Julius Caesar. I brought the house down at every performance. After I finished high school. I joined the United States Air Force and went off to Desert Storm. Once I completed the Air Force, I started going to comedy clubs and begging them to let me perform. I came up with skits that got better and better over time.
Who are some of the more interesting people you have worked with?
Jerry Seinfeld, Dave Chappelle, Kevin Hart, Jim Gaffigan, Nipsey Russell, Damon Wayans, Rosanne Barr, George Wallace, LL Cool J, Aretha Franklin, and Maya Angelou.
Why should someone aim to become funnier?
Being as funny as possible is a service you owe to the world for being born. The world runs off of the energy from laughter. No matter what your profession is, you owe humor, laughter and lightheartedness so that you can raise the energy and spirits of those around you. The benefits of being funny are numerous. You will make people laugh and relax them in any scenario. You will be able to take tension out of most situations and more people will open up to you. Everyone loves to laugh. Dating drastically improves for people who honor laughter first. Making jokes in any situation exudes confidence. Laughter improves and changes any environment. Road rage, anxiety, conflicts, awkward meetings, and strained relationships all improve with laughter.
How can someone get funnier?
Photo courtesy of Jai Mac Neil
Here are some tips on becoming funnier:
- Lighten up! Don’t take yourself too seriously! Laugh more!
- Learn how to banter!
- To every typical question asked to you, have a witty snappy answer (example: What kind of work do you do?…I’m a professional wrestler!)
- Watch as much standup comedy and funny movies as possible
- Read funny comic strips, stories and joke books
- Observe everything around you and every situation and ask yourself what is funny about what’s going on, no matter what it is!
- Give an answer to a question opposite to what people expect (example: Was it easy becoming a successful comedian? YES!)
- Use real-life funny stories, not just jokes
- Include an element of truth
- Match things that do not necessarily go together
Most people are terrible at remembering jokes. How do you remember them all?
I remember all the punchlines first and then string all the punchlines together in my train of thought. But most people should just try to remember 5 really good jokes.
What is one of your favorite jokes/skits?
I like to list great pickup lines, such as:
- I’m learning about important dates in history. Want to be one of them?
- Feel my shirt. Know what it is made of? Boyfriend material!
- I was blinded by your beauty; I’m going to need your name and phone number for insurance purposes!
- Life without you is like a broken pencil…pointless!
- I’m no photographer, but I can picture us together!
- If you were words on a page you’d be fine print!
- Your name must be Google. Because you have everything I’ve been searching for!
- Would you mind terribly if I paid you a compliment?
I then list some of the worst pickup lines of all time, such as:
- Are you a baker? Because you have a nice set of buns!
- Do you know what will happen in zero gravity? I would still fall for you!
- I could find the whole meaning of life in those sad eyes!
- I think my Spotify is broken. You’re not listed in the hottest singles.
- I may not be Fred Flintstone, but I’ll make your bed rock!
- The only thing your eyes haven’t told me is your name.
- You should slap my face for what I have been thinking about you!
Who are your favorite comedians?
Dave Chappelle, Bill Burr, Ricky Gervais, Jerry Seinfeld, Kevin Hart.
What are some of your favorite tv shows?
Curb your Enthusiasm, Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Big Bang Theory
Who labeled you the greatest comic in the history of comedy?
I cannot tell a lie. It was George Washington.
How can people find you on social media?
And for an obscene amount of money, you can book me to be your comedy coach.